The Paris Metro is one of the greatest public transport systems in the world. A quick translation of Paris Metro map can help the first-time traveler get up and running. Here’s a quick guide to the various logos and symbols shown on the famous Paris Metro map.
“RATP”: RATP is the state-owned company that operates the Paris public transportation system. RATP stands for “Regie autonome des transports parisiens” (translation: Autonomous Operator of Parisian Transports). It may be easier to think of RATP as the corporate sponsor of the Metro.
“M”: The circle “M” logo designates the Paris Metro subway system. The Metro carries travelers inside the city, including stops at the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and all points in between. The Metro has 14 “lines”, each denoted by its’ own solid colored circle. The combo of “M” and “4” above translates to “Metro Line 4”.
“RER”: The RER is a system of trains, rather than a system of subway cars. RER stands for “Reseau Express Regional” (translation: Regional Express Network). The RER intersects with the Metro inside the city, using many of the Metro stations as connectors. The RER carries travelers outside the city, while the Metro keeps travelers inside the city. The RER has just two lines: “A” and “B”.
“T”: Think “trams” or “light rail”. The circle “T” logo shows up on many Paris Metro maps, showing where the overground trams intersect with the Metro. The tram vehicles are somewhere between a trolley and a train, travelling alongside city streets. There are eight different tram lines within the city, each denoted by its’ own hollow colored circle. The combination of “T” and “3” above translates to “Tram Line 3”.